Episode 39 Transcript

okay welcome to episode 39 of the
business in Morocco podcast today we're
going to be talking about effective
communication and sharing some
definitions and some tips and some
personal experiences with that but
before we get into the topic let's start
with a little update so Ryan what's new
how are you Ryan doing well the things
that are on the top of my mind this week
are the office continuing to do
construction in the office and get it
ready for full operations and also the
entrepreneurs Club of Casablanca
as of today as of the recording of this
podcast we now have 61 applications and I
have turned off all forms of marketing
I'm going to be engaging this group of
61 entrepreneurs narrowing down the
group to people who are serious people
who understand the commitments both
timewise financially and in terms of
participation in the group getting to a
number around 30 or 35 and inviting that
group to to come to an event to learn
all about what the club is going to be
like and then enroll officially apply to
be a member of the club
pay the monthly dues yeah so that's what
I'm thinking about right now along with
the other aspects of my business that
are sort of ongoing that's exciting the
other thing is that you had mentioned to me you being an iPhone user
that we have reviews on iTunes yeah just
wanted to encourage some folks who
listen on iTunes to leave reviews if you
have something positive to say go ahead
and leave a review if you have something
negative to say then just go ahead and
don't of course if you do like the
podcast also subscribe whether it's on
iTunes Spotify or on our website so that
you can be notified of the latest
updates yeah this is from Hamza Hamady
and he said I highly recommend everyone
living in Morocco whether you want to
learn English or know more about
economic environment in the country ever
since these guys are so professional and
highly skilled and most important
they're worth listening to
so thanks Hamza we appreciate the five
star review okay so for all our iPhone
users or you're using iTunes to listen
to this please leave us a five star
review so that more people can discover
the podcast and thanks a lot Hamza for
your words and for your your review we
appreciate it
what about you Ryan, what's going on this week yeah I just I was at
Bin El Ouidane this past weekend doing
another team-building and so that was a
lot of fun it was a big group we had
perfect weather so we were in the
conference room doing some activities
doing some training and then we got
outside to do some fun activities so
that was a great weekend a big part of
what I do it's really enjoyable and I've
got two more booked for this year so
next weekend and the last weekend in
November so that was exciting and I'm
getting ready for another power of
habits for success workshop that I'll be
leading here in Casablanca it's a
half-day workshop happening on November
23rd so if anybody wants to attend
they're welcome to register at
maroctreasure.com you can click on the
courses and find out more information
there so I'm excited about that is it
going to be in the same location as last
time yeah so it's a co-working space
called Commons Zerktouni near 2Mars
great let's get into the topic of today
which is techniques for effective
communication first just to give it
overall definition so here's the
definition of effective
communication an effective communication
is communication between two or more
persons wherein the intended message is
successfully delivered received and
understood basically the receivers
understanding matches the sender's
intention right because we can often
have something in their minds and not
effectively communicate it in written or
oral word we can accurately convey our
message but it's not understood or it's
misinterpreted and so there's a wide
variety of things that can happen when a
communication occurs especially since
a lot of communication is nonverbal
right so some of the challenges to
effective communication can be language
we know this living here in Morocco not
speaking Arabic or French fluently that
we don't know when you get the right
message across and sometimes we're
surprised or not surprised when not
everyone has the same understanding of
what has been communicated and that
feeds into culture as well right, where
the same word or action can have two
entirely different meanings for example
I once had a plumber tell me this work
that needs to be done it should not be
done until next month and what I thought
he meant was we need to wait until
concrete dries or the tile is
appropriate or the parts are available
to do this work but what he meant was
that he was going on vacation and he was
not going to be back until next month
and so that's why the work needed to
wait until next month right so there can
be challenges or differences yeah when
it comes to what he was saying was that you
should not hire another
plumber despite the fact that I can't
deliver quickly right
right some of the other challenges are
memory the stats vary when it comes to
the retention of memory but most people
will forget 75% of what you say by the
next day for example if you give a
presentation and give a speech 75% of it
is gone. Within 30 days that number moves
up to 90% and even in that 10% that's
left some of it is wrong so what you're
remembering actually didn't happen or it
wasn't said but it's in your memory as
though it did so memory is a problem
when it comes to effective communication
also interpretation saying something and
meaning one thing and having to be
interpreted a different way that can be
a challenge another is expertise if I am
an engineer and I use technical jargon
where I have a certain understanding, a
certain background in the field and I'm
speaking a certain way I have certain
assumptions about that topic or that
idea and if I assume that the audience
has the same assumptions then that can
be a challenge to effective
communication right you do a lot of
public speaking what have you learned
about effective communication when it
comes to public speaking well I
definitely agree with all the points you
raised and with the last one about we
all have different interpretations even
if you hear the word I'm saying what it
means to you is different we do an
activity in some of the workshops I
teach where each table will write down
as many words as they can like each
individual will list as many words that
they associate with the word I give and
then they get a point for every time
that each person at the table has that
same word and so even something like
family or money these kind of simple
words that we use all the time we even
with the table of four or five people
they might only get
two, three points meaning they all have
very different ideas of what that word
means so our interpretation even if
words you hear correctly can vary widely
now when it comes to communication the
good news is that it's a skill you can
develop it some are naturally good
communicators but that doesn't mean that
the rest of us can't progress in this
area we can work on these skills and
improve and that's very true for public
speaking you can be a confident person
you can be articulate meaning you can
say what you want to say really well use
words well but it's still something you
need to practice and so I recently had
somebody contacting me on LinkedIn and
she asked me how do I do what you do
like how can I become like a formatrice
how do I become somebody that is
invited to come and speak and goes on
panels and gives presentations and one
of the keys is you've gotta practice
you've got to become known for this and
you've got to become good at it and so
when I moved to Morocco several years
ago nobody was contacting me and
inviting me to come and speak
I began by actually knocking on doors
I began by putting myself out there by
asking if I could come and speak and I
was doing all that for free so I'm
showing up to Dar America to some
universities to entrepreneurship centers
to different clubs and giving these
presentations on areas that I have
expertise in and I'm doing that as a
volunteer I'm doing that for free so
even this Thursday I'm speaking at JCI
Casablanca giving a 90-minute workshop
presentation and I'm doing that for free
they're not paying me to be there I've
spoken on campuses for free and done all
this now one of the reasons why I'm
doing that is because I want to serve
people I want to help I feel like the
information I'm sharing is valuable
another reason is because I want to
build my reputation
become known for these things I want to
develop a brand or grow a reputation but
another reason is because I want
practice every time that I give a
presentation every time I teach a class
every time I go and give a workshop I
gain more experience I get better and
better at public speaking so I really
recommend for those who want to grow in
this area that they create opportunities
you've got to be proactive you've got to
go knock on doors and take any
opportunity again I've literally spent
hundreds of hours over my career giving
public presentations whether in a
classroom or at some kind of meeting
I've spent a lot of time honing this
skill and you get better and better at
the good news too is that sometimes
these free presentations can lead to
paid work so this morning I had a
meeting with a client for a
team-building workshop that's happening
next Friday and the reason I got this
job is because the director of Dar
America recommended me to this client
well the director of dar America knows
me because I came and gave a free
presentation so there's a direct link
from offering this value for free that
then led to paid work it led to
monetization later which is a principle
we've talked about before on this
podcast and that's an example of it
working here in Casa one other tip
related to making presentations to
public speaking and to any form of
communication is the power of stories we
love stories and when you're trying to
convey information when you're trying to
help people understand your point of
view or you're trying to influence
people stories can resonate they can
really connect with the human mind and
the human spirit so many years ago I
went back to Canada and I attended
a funeral my great-aunt had passed
away and so there was a little graveside
ceremony and I introduced myself to a
guy and he said actually I I know you
I've heard you speak before and I said
oh okay what was the context and he
described a meeting and he said I
remember you told this story and he kind
of shared the story and it had been 12
years since he saw me speak but he
remembered me and he remembered the
story that I told after 12 years that's
what he remembered because it was a it's
a powerful and dramatic story and I even
like yelled as I was telling it to
really illustrate what it would have
been like and it was impacting it was
powerful and it was memorable now for
you guys listening when I began this
story and I said you know several years
ago I went back to Canada for a funeral
did you see how you zoomed in how you
really honed in on what I was saying
because before I'm just giving tips I'm
listing information it's kind of bullet
points it's a teacher giving a
lecture but when I started telling a
story you gave me your attention it
brought you back from whatever your
brain had wandered off to because we're
wired to hear stories we love it and
then a smaller version of story is a
metaphor whenever you can
compare an idea with something that
people are familiar with it can really
enhance your communication it can help
you get across your idea so somebody who
uses this a lot is Warren Buffett now
Warren Buffett as you know is one of the
best-known investors in the world he's
worth however many dozens of billions of
dollars he's produced a lot of wealth
over the decades of his career but of
all his experiences and all his
achievements what he has hanging in his
office is a certificate from a public
speaking course that he took because it
was a real challenge for him but he
realized this was so crucial in his
career was to grow in his ability to
speak publicly and when he first signed
up for the course he dropped out because before he was to
give a presentation he was too scared
and so he quit the course but then he
forced himself to take it a second time
and when he graduated he was so proud he
put it up on his wall now he speaks
to Wall Street and gives presentations
all over the world but one of the things
that he's known for is all his metaphors
he makes these comparisons and he takes
something complex and difficult to
understand these complicated
financial investments and he uses a
metaphor to help bridge this idea to
something we're familiar with he makes
the unfamiliar familiar by doing these
comparisons and that's a really useful
tool that we can use in our
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to the show yeah that's a great
habit making complex things
understandable breaking them down into
their elements explaining them in a wide
variety of ways since we don't
necessarily know the background of
everyone who's listening the history
the comprehension or interpretation it's
important to say things in a variety of
ways and to repeat and emphasize the
most important points and if you'll see
there are themes throughout this
whether it's entrepreneurship
focus starting small testing trying
things having endurance there are themes
that sort of run through all the
episodes of the podcast and that's one
of the ways that you have effective
communication it's not what you say that
matters it's what you repeat and
emphasize over and over again and here's
another one practice how many times have we said practice yeah how many times
have we said offer to do things for
free right here are those themes
that come up again practice offer
new things for free demonstrate that you
can provide value and then people will
be willing to pay and you provided
another story that illustrates that with
the referral that you got from Dar
America in fact I met with one of my
business partners this morning the one
who was partners with the paintings and
duty-free and we were just talking about
the fact that it took seven months to
get into duty-free but we've been
working together for a year and a half
and we started out by trying to sell
paintings on our own website and doing
marketing through Instagram and Facebook
and that completely failed then we tried
to sell paintings through Jumia and other
ecommerce sites and that completely
failed and so we've been working at this
for eighteen months and finally
we had a company stamp our facture our
invoice which means that they're gonna
pay it right after eighteen months right
and that is the definition of endurance
and perseverance but trying new things I
had good ideas about what would work but
clearly the form of communication
whether it was on
or through social media to find buyers
of this particular kind of painting in
this particular price range was not
effective and you have to learn
when your communication is not being
effective because business a lot of it
is about communication
yeah it's about finding people who could
value your product or service that
you're offering and communicating it to
them in a variety of ways with
multiple impressions
that's why coca-cola has billboards or
McDonald's they have billboards all over
the place or you'll see the billboards
with car companies because they're just
trying to make these impressions on you
you know so that when that moment does
come when you want a cheeseburger or you
want a new car you have been and you
have been touched by them dozens if not
hundreds of times over your lifetime so
that's another good habit of effective
communication is using a variety of
communication over time to reach a
variety of different people so that you
can find your true fans your
true customers for your product or
service yeah because some people love
stories other people love facts all
those people love videos or images or
lists you know last week we did the
podcast right the five choices
this is a proven strategy in media the
five techniques the five strategies the
five points for success right yeah that
that is usually an effective strategy
for at least getting people to click
on whatever it is that you're doing
let's talk a little bit more generally about the good habits of
communication in general whether
it's face-to-face over the phone or over
email what do you think about email
communication Ryan or messaging what are
some some good habits well I think when
it comes to digital communication all of
us probably have stories of times where
there was a misunderstanding and
misinterpretation of our intended
message which is why we sometimes use
emojis to help make it clearer when I'm kidding when I'm genuinely asking a
question when I'm poking fun at somebody
we use these to try to help the person
hear what they can't hear which is our
tone of voice but what I would recommend
is the more complex or the more
emotional a topic is that you kind of
move up the levels of communication so
the lowest form of communication is me
just sending something written like an
email or like a text message and then
the next level is an actual phone call
where we're hearing each other's voices
we can pick up tones but then of course
the next level is face to face where
we're in the same room where we can see
the person's communication or maybe even
between there's video call where we're
still using digital technology but we
can see one another and the expressions
we're making so those are four levels I
would say that as the situation arises
in it's emotional tension if it's
whether that's sadness or frustration or
anger or any kind of conflict you want
to move up a level so there might be
something you just say look can I just
give you a call so we can actually talk
about this you can hear my tone
coming across or can we meet up and talk
about this face-to-face or the other
side can also be true when there's a lot
of facts and information and details one
thing that can be helpful is to follow
up with a written outline of what you
understood so I had a kind of tense
emotional phone call this afternoon with
a colleague and I need to write an email
tonight just to verify that my intended
communication was understood I need to
clarify with him what I was trying to
say in a written form especially because
we were speaking in English which is his
third language so there's even more
opportunity for him to misinterpret
my intended meaning and I want to
protect our relationship we work closely
together so I'm gonna follow up our
verbal communication with written
communication using your technique of
communicating on multiple levels to
increase the level of understanding yeah
when it comes to email the first thing
that I always think about is be
responsive it's a very poor habit to let
emails sit in your inbox without an
answer for days or weeks first of all
it's just disrespectful but if you have
any desire to move up professionally to
start your own business you simply have
to be responsive and you can't
discriminate in your responsiveness you
just have to make it a habit of being
responsive even if you think that person
is not going to provide a median value
to you for example you could have been
you could have discriminated against the
Dar America guy and sort of been
lackadaisical in your communication with
him because you knew you weren't getting
paid but that would have been a bad
choice because you were developing a
relationship that has long-term value
it's also just a good idea to be
respectful of people's time and to
answer their questions when they send
you an e-mail so monitor your email and
reply in a timely manner and and this
has come to my attention when it
comes to this Club 61 applications
people have submitted their application
sometimes I have questions I have
emailed every single applicant and asked
them a variety of questions based on
application, and most have not replied and how long has it been weeks weeks since
you emailed them it's been weeks for some of them Wow
I mean it's sixty one applications
over the course of several weeks but
some of them have not responded in
several weeks okay
and to me that's a sign either that they
don't monitor their email or
they're not taking the situation
seriously right and as I mentioned in
previous podcasts the club is only going
to be for people who are serious
about doing business yeah and if you
can't take the time you know three to
five minutes to reply to two simple
questions this is usually what I asked
what are you doing now and what would
you like to do as an entrepreneur right
what field are you in and I only
usually ask that if they didn't provide
the information in the application
it's a follow-up question right so what
I think of email I think of being
courteous respectful using proper
punctuation grammar syntax and
responding in a timely manner
so how does this relate to what we've
discussed before about like deep work
and distractions and you know say for
example on the business in Morocco
podcast we get a lot of people messaging
us or commenting so on the one hand we
want to be responsive but on the other
hand we want to focus on high priority
tasks and giving our time to what's most
valuable but as you pointed out with the
Dar America contact it can be difficult
to interpret that you have to basically
clarify or use your best judgment when
incoming notification message email comes
to you so how do you... I think that
responding same-day is fantastic I think
the goal should be within one day and
that should be achievable if you set
aside time to open that inbox and reply
to the emails that are in there or the
messages the worst that I've seen are
people who are looking for jobs or they
are actively in the process of proving
themselves for work and I've tested
several people whether it's written
content video content and my
communications with them will go unwritten
unresponded to for days or weeks and
they'll come back and say Oh so sorry no
I am sorry
I'm sorry that it's not gonna work out
between us you can still do deep work if you set aside time to be
responsible I'm not talking about within
the hour
I'm not even talking about the same
day I think same day is great but you
really shouldn't have any excuse to not
reply within a day a working day especially
yeah two days but if you're somebody who's searching for a
job what else are you doing right I mean
what takes precedence over that barring
a non-family emergency this should be
you should be thrilled when somebody
emails you that should take precedence
over everything else you're working on
this topic is relevant based on that
post you sent me from London Academy and
they're searching for a computer
programmer or an engineer who
communicates well in Arabic and French
and English so they are specifically
looking for a technical professional who
communicates well the fact is that all
companies are looking for that because communication matters
when it comes to your team it matters
when it comes to the customer
communications is very important and
poor communicators make bad employees
yeah that post really struck me
because he was specifically asking for
something that's extremely technical so
these are people that are not known for
their communication skills but yet what
he wanted was somebody with both
somebody who knew IT knew technology but also knew how to communicate ideas and
those people have so much value to offer
in the marketplace so even if you're an
engineer you're into math you're into
science the ability to communicate
effectively will powerfully enhance your
career as well as your personal
relationships you've been listening to
the business in Morocco podcast my name
is Ryan Kirk here with my co-host Ryan
Maimone if you enjoyed this episode be
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by Bill Withers
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you'll have a lovely day doing business
in Morocco we'll see you next time

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